Friday 26 June 2015

Birthday roadtrip

A few days ago Rich and I took off on another one of our quick little roadtrips, this time to Oregon. The purpose was two-fold: We wanted to buy some rabbits, and also celebrate Rich's birthday with just the two of us.

I took almost no photos, because we spent the majority of the time in the car; but it was still fun to get away for a day and a half!
Our hotel - clean and affordable
Apart from the rabbits (Rich is thrilled with them), the highlight of the trip was the dinner we had at Red Star Tavern. Neither of us had been to Portland before, and instead of researching it like any sensible person would do, I thought it would be more fun to just get there and wing it.

Maybe not the approach I would recommend, since we drove around cluelessly for an hour, being thoroughly confused by the myriad of freeways looping around and through the city. But in the end we were lucky enough to find an inexpensive hotel in the downtown area and, even better, stumbled across the Red Star Tavern. 
Photo taken from Red Star Tavern's website

With all that driving around it had gotten pretty late, and by the time we left the hotel in search of food it was after 8:30pm. The night was still warm, if a bit muggy, and we set off on foot in the direction of the Pearl District.

To be honest, we were not in the best of moods. One of us felt out of his element, looking around doubtfully, we were both hungry, and it had been a long day with more than 700 km driven. 
We had no idea where the closest restaurant was, and if it would still be open (note to self: plan ahead next time).

But then, like a beacon of hope in the night, we spied a warm, red glow in the distance:
Image found on their Instagram

With renewed energy, we quickened our pace, and were overjoyed to find out that the restaurant was still open. 
We stepped inside. 
Since it was a Tuesday night with Happy Hour over, there were only a few guests inside. However, the interior was cozy, with dark wood paneling, a gorgeous bar and an open kitchen, and we sank gratefully into the comfy leather seats. 
The friendly waitress swiftly brought us glasses of water and our drinks, and our mood brightened considerably. 

But what really made this evening memorable was the meal.
We both ordered the Chef's Dinner, which was cooked to perfection and absolutely delicious. 
It consisted of:
  • Starter: Sauvie Island Greens: Roasted beets on greens with preserved lemon-pistachio vinaigrette
  • Main: Fisherman's Stew: Gulf shrimp, mussels, halibut, potatoes, cabbage, chorizo in green chili broth
  • Dessert: Buttermilk Custard Cake and Raspberry Sorbet
I didn't take a single picture of our meal, because who has the time? As soon as someone places a plate with scrumptious-looking food in front of me I have to start eating it right away. #sorrynotsorry
If you want to take a look at Red Star Tavern's food, check out their Instagram.

We spent a highly enjoyable two hours there, and left well fed and happy. The power of a good meal is not to be underestimated!

Birthday breakfast at a second-rate casino+diner - we know how to celebrate in style (#not)

The next morning we took off fairly early, because we were anxious to get our rabbits home. About an hour outside of  Portland we stopped at a Casino/diner (don't ask me why) to have breakfast.
The difference to the previous night's meal could not have been any bigger. The diner offered a sad little buffet, mediocre coffee and desperation oozing out of the shabby furniture and dirty carpet.
It felt like the quintessential cliché-diner from a roadtrip movie where you expect to either be robbed at any moment or to be confronted with a desperate guy threatening to kill himself.

Outside the window were two cop cars, and by the time we left the restaurant we saw that they had arrested and handcuffed a young guy, who was sitting in the backseat, scowling.
It was perfect.

Overall it was a great trip! Can't wait to do it again.

TGIF friends!



  1. You know you love the place and the food they give you when you're so happy you forget to take a picture! :)

  2. Exactly! Always wanting to document everything can sometimes take the joy away a bit. It's nice to just enjoy the moment and not care about photographing it! :-)

  3. Haha, sounds like your gut feeling about that breakfast place was on point!

  4. It was strangely perfect. Totally safe, yet so entertaining!

  5. Haha awesome!
    Mark and I did a minimal planning road trip in Oregon once. During our travels we ended up stopping at a tiny little "Joe-nobody" town called Tillamook where at the hotel instead of telling us the price for a night, it was scribbled on a sliver of paper, turned face down, and then slid across the counter to us. Needless to say we made it out alive, but I thought for sure we were going to be murdered that night, lol.

  6. It sounds like you had a wonderful time - what's a trip without a super sketchy diner? I can't believe you were in Portland!! I'm basically in Portland! Haha I've been discovering tons of neat little places in the city - it definitely has a unique style and flair and I love it here :) Congrats on your rabbits!!!
    ~ Samantha

  7. Oh, I love it! What a great story. So weird and creepy! But I'm glad you made it out alive! Small towns are awesome.

  8. We only spent such a small amount of time that we didn't see much, but I liked it there. I'm so happy you're having such an excellent time! It's exciting to follow along on your adventures :-)

  9. I love the morning dinner story! My great grandma just loved those kind of places no matter how much I would try to get her to go to a proper breakfast place!

  10. What it lacks in quality it more than makes up for in the entertainment factor!

  11. I want to go to Portland :) The Red Star sounds good, I just looked at their website. Happy Be-lated Birthday to the husband :) I always have a plan when it comes to meals.

  12. Haha I bet you do! I'm terribly unorganized sometimes, but tell myself it's being adventurous ;-)


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